journalisim

Does Media Present Science Fairly?


Science in the media can be very hard to explain. This is especially true when the topic, like genetically modified organisms (GMO), is very technical, not very sexy, or controversial. In the case of GMOs, some media outlets cater to the confusion and aim to be sensational. Unfortunately, this approach distorts the facts and may cause consumers to make inaccurate statements about what they eat, buy, or recommend.

On December 7, 2010, Dr. Pamela Ronald, a distinguished plant scientist at the University of California – Davis, appeared as guest expert on the nationally-syndicated “Dr. Oz Show” to discuss the benefits of GMOs.

Unfortunately, what “played out” was way past disappointing. There was unbelievable bias in how the segment was edited to produce the “final” version that overshadowed the sound scientific facts about GMOs. I found it remarkable that much of what Dr. Ronald presented during the filming of the segment was edited “out” of the final version of the show!

It is important to understand how media uses fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) to derail constructive conversations about complicated subjects. Learn more from Dr. Terry Etherton and his response to the producers of the Dr. Oz Show.

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